The Internet has been around, to the general public at least – for at least the last 20 years and it has literally grown exponentially – and it still is – with hundreds of thousands of web servers humming away in closets, garages, massive server farms and Aunt Betty’s basement speckled all over the planet. In a single daily there are billions of individuals who use the Internet to find information and consume data in multimedia format (videos, voice, gaming, social media).
The Internet has woven itself into our lives to the point of which there is a form of symbiosis between man and machine such that if we were to wake up tomorrow to learn that the Internet is no more we will feel a huge void and we could possibly feel like a chain smoker who has decided to go cold turkey and quit smoking from the get go!
The Internet has changed the landscape of our economy. Countless transaction occur online where people buys products and services with the press of a button from their smartphones, tablets and computers. These “online stores” are always open and can be accessed from anywhere in the world – once you have access to an Internet connection. However, how do people find what they are looking for? Mainly through search engines – and this is where SEO, or Search Engine Optimization comes into play. SEO is simply a process by which a webpage is put together with the ultimate goal of appearing on the first page of a search engine (like Google for example) and as high as possible on that first page when a target keyword is entered into the search engine search bar. A simple example would be if you had created a website on baby toys for infants and the target keyword that you would want your website to rank on the first page of Google for could be “toys for infants”.
Each major search engine provider has a mathematical algorithm defined that is used to determine how webpages are ranked. No one knows what that algorithm is (for good reason) and these algorithms are updated frequently with the main purpose of eliminating websites with crappy content being given a high rank. You see, there are lots of folks out there who do not want to spend the time creating quality content. Instead these guys will look for all kinds of shortcuts to try to get highly ranked so that they can make a quick buck selling products to people. Thanks to the work of our search engine providers, however, this type of activity has been controlled and virtually eradicated and the fight will continue to ensure that people get the best, high quality content that they are looking for.
Now, let’s look at how search engines know what is out there. The Internet is comprised of billions upon billions of webpages and search engines leverage things called “Spiders” and “Crawlers” that spend all day and night traversing all of these pages to find newly created webpages. When a new webpage is found, these spiders read the content and then index it within these massive databases that are located all over the planet. When this content is indexed the search engine would assign a set of keywords to that content that pretty much tell it what type of information is available on that page. That is why it is important to have keywords that closely relate to the content that you are creating so that it is properly indexed in the search engine database.
I love analogies so I will use one here. Spiders and crawlers can be analogous to subway trains that stop at every station (the station would be a webpage) within a complex underground subway network. Whenever a train makes a stop at a station, information about that station is recorded and indexed in a search engine database.
Now, the reason that there are search engine databases located all over the world in super fast and high end computers is because of the fact that we are living in an instant-gratification world. In other words, we are used to the fact that we can enter a search term in the search bar of Google and get results in less than a second. If the results take more than 2 to 3 seconds to come up on the screen we get frustrated! I must say that we have come a long way from taking the bus to the public library and then taking 20 minutes to find the perfect book on a subject that we are researching!
Before I end this article for today I just wanted to cover how search engines rank webpages for a particular keyword seeing that there are instances where there are hundreds and even thousands of webpages that usually compete for one of the first ten slots of a search results pages based on a particular keyword. So how is the ranking done? There are two factors in play here: relevance and popularity. The main objective or search engines is to give the searcher the most relevant content that is linked to the keyword that they type in so that they do not have to conduct another search, so for example if I type in “Green 2015 Ford Mustangs” I want to see the most relevant websites that give me information on green 2015 Ford Mustangs (e.g. Green Ford Mustang specifications, videos, cars for sale etc.). When we look at popularity the search engine measures how popular the website is that hosts the content as well as the webpage itself – are viewers staying on the webpage long enough to read the content? Are people coming back to the site to consume more content? Are they many backlinks leading traffic (real people) to that sight? and so forth…
This concludes the end of seo training part 1 and I hope that you derived some sort of value from it. At the end of the day, if you are looking at creating a website and you want to get a very good rank with the likes of Google just focus on being yourself, write very good and original content (no copying from other sites) and ensure that the content is highly relevant to your target keywords so if your target keywords are baby clothes then your content had better be about baby clothes and not baby toys for example. Lastly in addition to creating great content you have to ensure that you syndicate it and let the world know that you fabulous website exists!